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e-commerce mobile

Hearst introduces shoppable Amazon SmileCodes to print publications

Amazon's SmileCodes in Seventeen magazine
Amazon’s SmileCodes in Seventeen magazine

Hearst has unveiled a deal with Amazon to place scannable SmileCodes on Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, allowing readers to purchase straight from its pages.

Amazon’s SmileCodes are branded QR codes that link to sales pages and other content when scanned using the Amazon app. With the Hearst partnership, codes will be placed alongside selected items that once scanned, lead readers to the item on dedicated Cosmo and Seventeen stores on Amazon.com.

Customers can also access the online stores directly, where the publications will launch a “See, Love, Shop!” storefront that is updated monthly to correspond to the print publishing schedule.

“Amazon offers a wide selection of products, fast and free shipping options and low prices, and by teaming up we will be providing Cosmopolitan and Seventeen readers the opportunity to ‘see, love, and shop’ the products our editors showcase and they covet,” said Donna Kalajian Lagani, senior vice president and publishing director of Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. “We are using the latest technology to create a new instant and interactive experience moving our readers down the purchase funnel.”

Items are selected either by the magazines’ editorial teams or exist within ads by selected brands. They will range from categories such as beauty, fashion, wellness and books. So far partners include beauty and personal care brands like Olay, Neutrogena and Cover Girl. To further spotlight “See, Love, Shop!”, the magazines will also be posting shoppable listicles on their websites and promoting certain selections via social media.

Amazon SmileCodes has so far been running as a pilot in Europe, but the Hearst deal marks its official US debut. The online giant has vouched to promote new storefronts, which in turn will likely help promote its SmileCodes feature.

Categories
Editor's pick technology

Robots takeover Stylist magazine for celebratory 400th issue

Sophia the Robot robotics fashion
Sophia the Robot

UK weekly magazine, Stylist, is looking to the future in its 400th print issue by dedicating it to robotic technology.

Gracing the cover is Sophia the Robot, arguably one of the most famous faces of recent humanoid launches. Sophia stars in her own fashion editorial donning designer clothes and also answers questions on the meaning of life in the back page Q&A section.

“As technology continues to invade our lives, robots replace people at work and AI enters our homes, it’s only natural that we’re all beginning to wonder about the roles we’ll play in the future,” the Stylist team writes.

Other contributors include the Beautification make-up artist robot, which is put to the test by beauty writer Ava Welsing-Kitcher. The robot, which applies make-up on the user through a series of acrylic arms, may lack in the detail of its execution at this stage, but it speaks to a future where machines will play a major role in the development and application of beauty and personal care.

Beautification
Beautification

Welsing-Kitcher writes that L’Oréal is already in the process of using android chemists to make creams and serums, while Shiseido is rolling out robots in production lines to speed up packaging assembly. Beyond the supply chain, robots will begin to take on more customer-facing roles in beauty too, such as by engaging in retail environments.

Pushing the conversation forward on whether robots will substitute humans, Stylist also enlists Articoolo, a robot built by a team of content writers, mathematicians, marketers and computer scientists in Israel, to predict spring’s biggest fashion trends. Meanwhile as the first range of ‘companion robots’ such as Pepper begin to enter the consumer market, it investigates its potential to end social isolation and loneliness.

Aligned with the magazine’s shopping editorial approach, robot-filled wishlist pages also highlight that the technology will pervade more aspects of everyday life than previously expected.

Pepper robot companion fashion
Pepper
Categories
business

Digital fashion adspend on the rise as print suffers

burberry-digital-adspend
Burberry’s SS16 campaign has played out across digital platforms as well as the more traditional glossy magazines

All the money Burberry and the rest of the luxury sector are spending on digital advertising had to come from somewhere and now we know where. It’s print, and more specifically newspapers that are suffering.

A new Zenith Luxury Advertising Expenditure report shows that digital adspend will continue to rise during this year and next while luxury brands will cut back on their print spending.

In fact, they’ll spend 3% more on digital for a total of $10.9bn this year alone across 18 major markets. But they’ll cut back on their print ads with a drop from $133m last year to $128m this year and $122m in 2017. Not that Vogue, Bazaar, Elle et al will feel the pinch that much as newspapers take the bulk of the cuts and glossy mags remain a key channel for investment. Of course, some of the digital advertising will got to the websites and apps of the very magazines and newspapers that would previously have hosted more print ads.

Yet print overall still gets 83% of fashion and accessory luxury advertising budgets and 60% of the spend for jewellery and watches.

But digital is clearly the alluring new kid in town. While by 2017, print adspend will have fallen $150m, digital will add $837m, so it’s clear that overall adspend is rising as a result of the digital revolution.

Countrywise, much of the big money is being seen in the US digitally with that country in top spot on a 45% share of spend. It’s followed by China on 21% with Germany and France third and fourth. But even though the UK will only see a 1.5% rise in digital adspend this year, it will take the fourth spot from France by year-end.

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

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Comment Editor's pick social media

Luxury brands are missing out by snubbing the hashtag offline

This post first appeared on WGSN.com/blogs

CKJeansUnderwear1

Browsing through the September issues on our desks this month and one thing that particularly sprang to mind – other than the models reclaiming the front covers – was the dearth of hashtags being used in any of the season’s big fashion campaigns.

Reporting on this space used to mean buying a stack of said publications twice yearly and physically scanning in the relevant pages, or calling up PRs and asking them to courier over a CD with their high res images saved on. WGSN covers in the region of 400 brands each season – the best of everything from designers through to retailers, denim brands, sportswear companies and more. It’s a mega feat, added to with a big chunk of analysis about the visual trends of the season, the new models to know about and more.

Of course the task started to simplify (at least a little) a few years ago as slowly but surely the brands used this creative work not just for advertising, but also as a method of PR, pushing out the imagery across their own social channels as a story in its own right to mark the beginning of the season when collections were hitting stores. Today, you only need to source a Facebook album, look to recent Instagram posts or search through Pinterest to quickly find the assets for numerous companies.

This huge focus on social releases has become the norm – and the sharing that ensues is equally unsurprisingly (particularly when you have the likes of social queen Cara Delevingne posting her campaigns for Burberry, Chanel, Topshop and Mulberry to name a few to help push them).

So why then, are so few taking advantage offline of the hashtag – the very thing that social now centres around to inspire and curate said sharing further? Fashion retains an enormous focus on placing its ads in print publications, yet next to no brands have employed a humble tag on any of their work featured in them.

Lots are talking about it back online. Topshop has #ilovetopshop, AG Jeans has #whatmovesme, but few have integrated that social concept into the real world in order to tie their campaigns wholeheartedly together. In fact, Calvin Klein’s #mycalvins campaign (as pictured) is one of the only ones.

Stepping away from fashion, the uptake of hashtags in TV ads is significantly on the rise. At the Super Bowl in March 2014, 57% of commercials featured them, up from 50% in 2013 and 25% in 2012. Resulting mentions across social during that time were, as expected, significantly higher.

So where’s the gap with fashion? Is it as simple as hashtags not fitting in with the aesthetic of the campaign in terms of the preferred direction of these brands? Quite likely.

But there’s also a little part of the scenario that makes me wonder whether this is a classic case of brands wanting consumers to share, but not wanting to suggest they’d like that to be the case. Admitting to digital in a print publication is too close to that whole democratisation of luxury debate that the industry still isn’t quite able to shake off.

If Delevingne sharing with her six million Instagram followers is anything to go by mind you, I’d say it’s finally time.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce social media technology

Digital snippets: Burberry, L’Oréal, Macy’s, Adidas, Uniqlo, Google Glass

A round-up of the latest stories to know about surrounding all things fashion and tech:

Burberry_tmall

  • How Burberry has fared in its first days on Tmall [Jing Daily]
  • L’Oréal launches virtual try-on make-up app [NY Times]
  • Macy’s is the first retailer to run Facebook’s auto-play video ads [Adweek]
  • Adidas app to print Instagram snaps on your shoes [CNET]
  • Google’s new fashion-savvy exec can’t fix Glass’ biggest flaw [Wired]
  • Burberry cites integrated marketing activity for revenue growth as EasyJet CEO joins the board [The Drum]
  • Op-ed: Why fashion is the next big thing in venture capital [BoF]
  • Why are fashion brands shying away from Tumblr? [Tumblr]